Black History Month 2021

Black History Month celebrates the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and history and acknowledges the important contributions of African Americans/Blacks in the United States. We encourage you to show your UCSF PRIDE by sharing your African American/Black heritage with your colleagues and friends. Here are a few ways you can share.

  • Change your social media and Zoom profile picture to reflect your African American/ Black Heritage
  • On Zoom use a virtual background showing your African American/Black Heritage (Bonus if the photo is one your took yourself)
  • Share your pictures and/or short videos of yourself in cultural attire or engaging in a cultural activity. Send to [email protected].
  • Add "Black History Month" and/or an image showing your African American/Black Heritage to your Email Signature
  • Virtual Backgrounds for Black History Month can be downloaded here

Black History at BCH 

Moments of Solidarity 

The BCH community came together to reflect on a country where Black lives mean so little that violent killing after violent killing has become a norm and where African Americans are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For African Americans this moment is only a convergence of all of the racial violence, police brutality, health disparities, wealth gap and lack of access to education that has been the very fabric of the U.S. for 400 years. 

BCH hosted 3 town halls on Colliding Pandemics: Loss, Grief & Race during COVID-19. At 3:30 pm on June 3, 2020, both BCH Oakland and Mission Bay campuses took a moment to reflect and express solidarity on the current events involving the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other African Americans. 

BCH Black Caucus Oakland

Founded and co-lead by Stephanie Brown and Abdur Shemsu, the Black Caucus Oakland Chapter of the UCSF Black Caucus had its inaugural meeting on Juneteenth 2020. The BCH BCO’s mission is to help foster a hospital climate and culture of unity, equity, and inclusion. The group serves as a resource for advancing the social and cultural growth among African American care providers and staff through outreach, mentoring networking, community service, and enrichment activities. There are currently 74 members in the Black Caucus Oakland Chapter.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] 

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program 

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland is home to the largest and most comprehensive Sickle Cell Program in the Western United States. The center treats roughly 800 sickle cell patients annually, nearly half of whom are adults who have been going there since they were kids. About 70 percent of the hospital's patients are on Medi-Cal.

Black Panther's History in Oakland

Two Oakland colleges, Merritt and Laney, were the sites of many student movements and budding activists. Perhaps most significant was the meeting of Party founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton at Merritt College in the 1960s. Soon, the two came together to create the Black Panther Party and wrote its iconic Ten-Point Platform. Merritt College has since relocated to the Oakland Hills. Its original location, now the Children’s Hospital and Research Center, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

See Us Portrait Campaign

In honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we are excited to launch the “See Us” portrait project. Organized by the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Black Caucus, the project features portraits of our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues across our campus to celebrate the diversity that makes our community strong.

It is our goal to create a sense of belonging for our patients and staff by enhancing diversity, inclusion, racial justice, and health equity. This is a continuation of the important work we started through our DEI Council in 2020. We encourage everyone to think about how we can leverage our resources to advance this important work.

The portrait series will be launched on the OPC digital donor wall on January 14, followed by the installation of framed portraits throughout our Oakland campus later this month. You can get a sneak peek of our featured staff by clicking the button below: 

After you’ve had time to review the link, we encourage you to share any feedback by completing a quick, 1 minute survey for a chance to win prizes by February 15th! 

Thank you in advance for helping BCH-Oakland raise awareness around these efforts, which reflect our public mission and commitment to building an anti-racist hospital system.

VIDEOS - Black History at BCH



UCSF Events

Jeopardy Night for UCSF Students

Join the UCSF chapter of SNMA, SNDA, BE-STEM, School of Pharmacy and the Multicultural Resource Center for a night of fellowship and fun. The purpose of the jeopardy night is to celebrate Black history and culture while building connection within the UCSF community. There will be teams and prizes available The event will be held virtually and a zoom link will be sent to registered participants in advance. This is an interprofessional event for UCSF students.

Thursday, February 4, 2021
6:00- 7:30 PM 

RSVP kindly requested here by Wednesday February 3, 2021

Exploring and Empowering Our Communities: Black Men in White Coats

Join Black Men in Medicine at UCSF, SoM, Preterm Birth Initiative, and Multicultural Resource Center in for this film screening and panel!

Thursday, February 11, 2021
6- 8:30 PM

Zoom - RSVP kindly here

The purpose of this gathering is to raise awareness around the disparities and systemic barriers preventing Black men from becoming medical doctors and provide a collective space to elevate and discuss the experiences of Black identified medical students and physician

This event is open to all members of UCSF and community-at-large

Special Menu at Friendly Cafe in BCH Oakland 

Friday, February 12

Come celebrate Black History Month with a Special Menu at the Friendly Cafe in BCH Oakland. Featuring fried chicken, vegetarian jambalaya, special desserts and more!

Dante King, M.Ed

Join the Multicultural Resource Center as we host Dante King, M.Ed for another presentation that will focus on the opportunity to develop strategies to help diminish and minimize biased attitudes that affect decision-making. Participants will explore the impacts of institutional inequality, inequity, and structural racism.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
12- 1 PM (Webinar)

1- 1:30 (Post-Discussion)

Learn more and register for both events HERE

4th Annual Student Leadership Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

Join UCSF's Student Leaders in a discussion on the state of UCSF regarding data and support for marginalized groups, allyship, institution-wide policy, and inclusive curriculum. This forum is designed to bring UCSF together to address issues of discrimination and harassment across all levels of the campus community and construct initiatives for change.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

12- 1:30 PM

Organized by the Interprofessional Diversity and Equity Alliance along with students from all Graduate and Professional Schools. 

Learn more and RSVP HERE

Financial Health Webinar

Thursday, February 18, 12 pm - 1 pm

Join the BCH Black Caucus for a Financial Check-up workshop provided by Patelco Credit Union that will encourage you to review your finances to ensure you can reach your financial goals. This interactive workshop will cover all of your financial touchpoints, from providing tips on how to successfully save money to executing a resilient budget. An essential part of financial management includes strategies for building and maintaining your credit. Being thoughtful and intentional about how you spend your money can give you financial freedom. Open to everyone at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and San Francisco/UCSF Medical Center/Campus. 

Click HERE to register

The Get Down 

The Black Caucus is hosting The Get Down, a social mixer with trivia, prizes, and dancing. Come join the celebration of the rich history of African Americans at BCH, while dancing to a compilation of African American music through the decades, playing a trivia game highlighting the incredible roles of African Americans in history, and winning prizes!!! All are welcome. Cultural Attire is encouraged.

Thursday, February 18, 5 pm - 6 pm 

This is a ZOOM gathering

Download the Zoom Backgrounds


Webinar: See Us Portrait Project - Meet and Greet 

Wednesday, February 24, 1 pm - 2 pm 

Come meet and converse with our BCH colleagues featured on the See Us Portrait Project. Organized by the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Black Caucus, the project features portraits of our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues across our campus to celebrate the diversity that makes our community strong.

Click HERE to view the webinar 

Food For Thought Topic:  Vaccine Hesitancy

Thursday, February 25 at 12 pm - 1 pm

Open to all BCH Staff - These "Food for Thought" sessions provide BCH staff a brave space to have open and honest conversations as we advance the work to dismantle structural racism. We recognize this work is not just about thoughts and behaviors, but about the heart and the spirit.

Background Information:

Click HERE to register.



Soul of a Nation: Art in teh Age of Black Power

A docent from the de Young Museum provides a visual presentation of Soul of Nation, art made by Black artists during two pivotal decades when issues of race and identity dominated and defined both public and private discourse.

The year 1963 might have marked the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in the South, but poverty, prejudice, racism, segregation and frustration were still rampant in this country. Explore how Black artists responded to these social and cultural conditions. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
7- 8 PM

To learn more and register, go HERE

KQED Presents: A Love Supreme, Black History Month Drive-In at Fort Mason

When the Waters Get Deep follows the story of local musicians that uses hip-hop, jazz and soul to tell stories about the effects of policing, mass incarceration, and gun violence, and the bandmates work to create spaces for healing in Black and brown communities.

Tuesday- February 22 @ 8 PM

The 35-minute film will debut at KQED's first drive-in screening at Fort Mason on February 23rd at 8pm. We will be hosting a simultaneous digital screening of the film on our YouTube channel. A link will be sent to registrants who sign up for a live-streaming ticket prior to the event.

Black Men in White Coats Virtual Screening 

Register at IndieScreening

Available February 26 5:00 PM PST until March 1 5:00 PST | Register to receive a link and unique passcode

Hosted by the Oakland Public Library

Less Black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978 and Black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. With only 2% of American doctors being Black men, this comes as no surprise. This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing Black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large. 

Join AAMLO for a special virtual screening of a film project that “seeks to increase the number of Black men in the field of medicine by exposure, inspiration, and mentoring." The founder and executive producer is Dr. Dale Okorodudu.

For more information visit:


Kamala Harris, 49th Vice President of the United States


Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman was named the nation's First Youth Poet Laureate at 19. Now at 22, she delivered her original composition, "The Hill We Climb" as the youngest known inaugural poet at the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

Read Inaugural Poem "The Hill We Climb"



Fun Facts

Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California

The ACLU of Northern California in collaboration with radio station KQED, the California Historical Society and the Equal Justice Society co-created an educational project directed at highlighting the stories of slavery throughout California. “Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California” includes 14 essays, one video and three audio stories that present the experiences of African Americans and Native Californians during the 1800s. The “Gold Chains” website includes numerous stories that spotlight the lives of slaves in California, Black abolitionists, the relationship between slavery and the California Gold Rush, discriminatory laws, and more.

The Civil Rights Movement in the Bay Area

Beginning after World War II and reaching critical mass by the 1960s, African Americans mobilized against discrimination and the Civil Rights Movement was born. Activists in the Movement demanded an end to segregation and fought for equality and fairness in education, housing, and employment opportunities.  By the 1960's, the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the South, had reached California.  Once the Movement took hold in the Bay Area, it brought together people from all races and backgrounds to fight against the social injustice that had become so ingrained in society.  The fight was brutal and the victories were hard won.  Some of the weapons that activists used in the fight were sit-ins, marches, pickets and parades. 

This exhibit shows the struggles and triumphs during the Civil Rights Movement in the Bay Area through photographs and news stories from the News-Call Bulletin Newspaper during the period 1960-1965. 

San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society

The Society's mission is to educate African Americans and the public at large about the history and culture of San Francisco's African American community. The Society accomplishes its mission by:

  • documenting, preserving and presenting true accounts of the African American experience;
  • providing a forum for the discussion and analysis of relevant local, national and international issues,
  • encouraging, fostering and promoting the study and appreciation of African and African American history and culture
  • and by instilling in African Americans, especially African American youth, a sense of pride in themselves and their heritage.

The Crown Act - Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair

The CROWN ACT was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools 

Rafiki Coaltion 

Rafiki Coalition’s mission is to eliminate health inequities in San Francisco’s Black and marginalized communities through education, advocacy, and by providing holistic health and wellness services in a culturally affirming environment.

Rafiki Coalition strives to achieve its focus by providing health and wellness services including, but not limited to, health education, movement classes, health screenings, advocacy, transitional housing and case management services for people living with HIV/AIDS, trauma resiliency and mental health circles, and other health-promoting activities.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America ("NACA") is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market.


African American and Anti-Racism Books

Anti-Racism Resources for Parents and Kids

Books for Parents
Books for Kids
Best books for babies and toddlers
Books for younger children
Best for young adults